Sunday, March 02, 2008

30 Days of Lottery Love

I love lottery tickets. I love, love, love them. They definitely rank up there with beauty pageants, Mexican radio stations, vacuuming, and corn dogs. The scratch-off variety in particular is my favorite. I know they're often referred to as a "poor man's tax" and we've all been preached to at some point in our lives about the pure waste of money that lottery tickets are, but I've often wondered if this is completely true or not. For some time now I've been cooking up the idea of a month-long experiment where I buy a $1 scratch-off lottery ticket each day and track my winnings and losses. So last night over dinner with Nate, Sarah and Matt, I was again expressing my innate love for lottery tickets and pondering a potential experiment, when Nate suggested something brilliant.

He, Sarah, and Matt should each pay in $10 to fund my lottery experiment. At the beginning of the month, each contributor would write down just how much money they expected me to win (or lose) over the course of 1 month, and at the end of that month, the person guessing the amount closest to the actual winnings would then win all the money. And I would get the pure and complete pleasure of purchasing and scratching-off tickets every day for an entire month! (And with any luck, Matt would win the cash and I would get to share the winnings.) Ideally, there will actually be money to win at the end of the month. I'm ridiculously optimistic and suggested that Matt guess $325 or higher. Nate is very mathematical about it and was closely considering the odds involved. I think his guess will be approximately $3.50. Sarah is a wildcard. For emphasis, I had each of them write their guess down on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope, which I am keeping in our freezer until the end of the month. (Gets them thinking about all that "cold, hard cash" they could win 30 days from now.)

There are some basic rules:

I purchase 1 lottery ticket each day.
I play that ticket until it is finished. For example, if I scratch off my card only to win another ticket, I immediately trade it in for a second ticket, and so on, until I either leave with cash or nothing at all. If I win cash, I take it home and stick it in a jar, not to be touched until the end of the month when the grand total is revealed and all that cold, hard cash is doled out to that lucky someone.

That's about it. Very straight forward. Can't wait to watch the cash come flowing in.


Today...
...was not a big win.


Total Spent: $2
Total Won: $0

12 comments:

Beth said...

I think you should let your friends bet on how much they think you are going to win!

I'll be middle-of-the-road and safely say a hundred bucks in coming your way!

LauraLunch said...

I'd like to guess $12.

Crabby Rangoon said...

Beth, I admire your gusto!
Laura, I admire your ability to be reasonable.

Crystal said...

Holy crap!!! The blog is back!?!?!? Though fo sure you were still tromping around in Meh-he-co...if this doesn't work out, there's always La Loteria.

kristin said...

Pat has always told me that you two were a lot alike in so many ways...I guess your love for lottery tickets is one of them. He's been playing powerball lately...

Good luck! :)

Emily said...

My question is, does your total winnings include the subtracted amount you spent? Like if you win 30 but you spent 30 then you really win 0? I need to know all the rules before I vote!

Andi said...

I love lottery tickets. LOVE THEM. I used to buy them every once in a while in New York. I would buy them when I was really hating one of my crappy jobs & dream of quitting when I hit it big. I always felt slightly ashamed after buying the tickets. But, that didn't stop me!

Mother said...

Erika, check out this week's (March 3) car talk puzzler, for a realistic look at gambling!!! -Mother

Mother said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Crabby Rangoon said...

Emily--

The total won does not include the original $30 spent by my peers. I'm just counting what I win off of the lottery tickets themselves. Does that help?

Emily said...

In that case, I vote that you win $26 buckeroos.

Good luck!

Dani said...

You are fabulous.

I also love the lottery.

I buy one Powerball each time I fill my tank. I think of it as a very small price to pay for the right to really dream. ...'Cause let's face it... My basic career, way of life, and family fortunes produce exactly zero chance of any significant $$$ in my future. I love to daydream about what I'd do with a lot of money though. Buying that ticket means that there is in fact... no matter how teeny tiny... a validity to my "what if" daydreams. $52/year is a small price to pay for consistently fabulous daydreams... :)